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CHARLES GEORGE VA MEDICAL CENTER, Asheville, N.C. – The Buncombe County Veterans Council (BCVC) will hold a Veterans Day observance that will start at 10:30 a.m. and end about noon Sunday in the Atrium of the Charles George VA Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Rd., Asheville.
The observance will begin with a musical prelude provided by the Asheville North Seventh Day Adventist Church Choir. The formal ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with an invocation and presentation of the colors by Junior ROTC Cadets from Asheville, Enka, North Buncombe and Owen High Schools, followed by the pledge of allegiance.
Ms. Cynthia Breyfogle, director of the Charles George VA Medical Center will officially welcome the participants and guest speakers. She will be followed by Mr. John Mitchell, Western Field Representative for U.S. Senator Richard Burr, and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy.
Guest speakers for the observance will be introduced by Ms. Alyce Knaflich, chair person of the BCVC. The speakers for the event are:
· Colonel (Retired) Jesse Ledbetter, former Buncombe County Commissioner and NC state senator who flew 51 bombing missions over Europe during WW II. Ledbetter served in the Army and Air Force during WW II, and in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
· USMC Gunnery Sgt. (Retired) William (Billy) Cochran who served in the Korean War
· Yvonne Cook-Riley, a Vietnam-era Air Force Veteran who served in Japan and at Cape
Canaveral from 1961-65. She is a community advocate for diversity.
· US Army Major (Retired) Stacie Litsenberger served from 1986 – 2010 and was deployed during the Persian Gulf War. Litsenberger is an occupational therapist at the CGVAMC.
· US Army Captain Michael Lathrop served in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and presently commands the US Army Recruiting Company in Asheville.
The observance will close with performances by the choir, a benediction, release of doves, a performance of Amazing Grace by two violinists, and a 21-gun salute and playing of “Taps” by the BCVC Memorial Team.